Paranormal TV Programmes - Good or Bad?
Are paranormal TV programmes a good thing or do they just cause a stigma for investigators?
Date: 19th May 2018
"It must be a huge problem for you as a paranormal investigator when programmes on TV glorify things?"
That’s the most intriguing and yet the most irritating question out there at the moment… and make no mistake!
Why? Well it is something to think about.
If we ‘true’ paranormal investigators are anything to go by then it is down to a realistic fact that there is not one production company out there that would pay us to be on TV. The main reason for that is not because we are not celebrity status… it’s all down to money.
Money is what production companies want. This is what drives them to gather ideas (even if they do rip of the actual person who gave them the idea) and turn it into something it isn’t just to rake in the millions. And don’t think for one second they would do something without making damned sure there is a huge “over-the-top” profit in it.
Take one of the most irritating TV shows out there. It is, of course, Most Haunted. Now I do not mind admitting that this was the initial show that created all the others that came after it in its wake. In its first season there was no actual ‘proof’ obtained (to be totally honest there never has been!) but the idea was a new type of program that saw a bunch of people going into supposedly haunted locations armed with night vision cameras and camcorders and having a blast… and getting paid for it… AND making money for the production team too.
Now Most Haunted is known for the fact that Karl Beattie is the head of production… and also happens to be the husband of the host – Yvette Fielding. Now also a little-known fact is that Stuart Torevell (cameraman, rigger and investigator on MH) also happens to be Yvette’s cousin.
Anyhow, Most Haunted has managed to last for years and made it through to 19+ seasons so far. Now with this type of ‘fame’ there will always come a time when someone else will look at it and think “You know what? I could do that… and do it better!”
…and so many did!
But what of Most Haunted?
Well there was one location they went to in North Wales called the Tivoli Venue in Buckley. Now this place has had many a ghost hunting nights and paranormal groups going in… and with sporadic accounts of “many things happening” to “nothing at all” you can draw your own conclusions on belief or bs.
So in goes MH and there is one scene in which Stuart enters into the gents toilets claiming (and pointing to a tap in one of the sinks) “this is the tap that was running with water”. Now he does point at one tap but when Stuart walks past the sinks the opposite tap (of the push-down variety) suddenly comes on out of the shot of the camera! Really?
Well yes, Stuart… taps do run with water when operated… so evidently a member of the crew pushed it down and managed to hide before Stuart (who conveniently takes his time to pan the camcorder around for us to see) can show us the tap flowing.
Then later Stuart is sat under the hand drier calmly chatting away when the hand dryer comes on. Now if you watch this episode there are several things to note:
- There are, in fact, two hand driers – you can clearly see the other one briefly as Stuart turns the camcorder around to show the tap running! (see top-left of first picture on the left)...
- This is underpinned by another fact that Stuart has no hair. If he did then if that actual hand dryer he was sat under went off it would clearly blow his hair... (see second picture left)...
- The sound of a hand dryer going off is definitely going to be louder than anyone could talk... but if you listen carefully on this episode the sound of the hand drier goes very quiet when Stuart picks up the camcorder and faces it...
- Stuart was talking quietly but still the sound the hand dryer made is so much quieter than Stuart’s voice. This can only conclude that it was the 'other' hand drier being operated and not the one he said and filmed it was.
Now I have been involved with an investigation at the Tivoli and I enquired with the owner on the hand drier incident. She clearly stated to us that it was the second 'hidden' hand drier that was operated for "entertainment purposes only".
Also on that night we were in mid-vigil when I could clearly hear a tap running with water from within the male toilets. Turns out one of our team went in there during break and after going in he claimed that was the tap he used. After shutting it off manually we tried it again and it did stick down.
So are Most Haunted ruining the paranormal field? I'll leave you to decide on that answer... but after capturing a 'ghost' on camera (bottom left) one only has to use common sense and see it was in fact Stuart on a double-exposure (bottom right)...
So what about Ghost Adventures?
Well it seems that good-ol’ Zak Bagans and crew aren’t immune to the pressures of those above them. In the beginning Zak claimed “With no camera crews following us around I am joined only by my fellow investigator… and equipment tech…”.
But look at them now. They have extra camera people and sound engineers… and who else is there lurking in the shadows, eh? When it first started it did indeed look like there wer eonly the 3 of them and all footage was from their equipment, but now it is too glorified.
And also there is Nick's departure...
Granted it is well known that Ghost Adventures came out due to Most Haunted's popularity... and nobody can object that it is more 'Hollywood-esque' than Most Haunted... but there are still elements of entertainment there.
So are Ghost Adventures ruining the paranormal field?
Again, I'll leave the answer up to you...
So what about the other TV programmes that clog up the airtime?
Well most of these tend to use all and sundry of differing electronic gadgets that do little to nothing about proving the existence of ghosts and spirits. The best these programmes and hosts have to offer is flashing lights and beeps and chirps to indicate the presence of ghosts. It's great for the viewers to see what they tuned in for... but the reality is far from!
Again there are too many K2 Meters flashing and Torches flashing...
Whether you love or loathe paranormal TV programmes it is wise to understand that the glorification of ghost hunting, etc. is not what is portrayed on screen. It is quite the opposite and as such we who live in the real world will never be able to compete with them.
And why would we want to? We are in this because we enjoy it, not because we want fame.
So for any of you wishing to become part of this field then remember... if you consider yourself to be rational and can tell the difference between what's real and what's not... then if someone tells you: "Oh, so you go round hunting for ghosts!" then make sure you correct them and reply: "No! I'm a Paranormal Investigator!"
Make us all proud...
Shrug off the stigma...
...and keep on investigating into the paranormal!